PHOENIX — State Rep. John Kavanagh wants to restrict aggressive panhandling in Arizona.
“This is not the usual, ‘Mister, can you spare a dime?’ passive begging,” he said.
So-called “passive” or “peaceful” begging is protected by the First Amendment. It’s a lesson Arizona learned last year after a federal court ruled a state law on public begging violates free speech. This year, Kavanagh has introduced a bill to ban aggressive panhandling.
“That’s where the panhandler follows you around and keeps asking after you say no, touches you, steps in front of you, blocks your way,” he said.
His bill would also make it illegal for a panhandler to approach someone within 10 feet of a bus stop or 15 feet of a bank or ATM. Kavanagh, a Republican who represents Fountain Hills in District 23, said this is not a right-wing or left-wing bill.
“Blue states, red states, they all have this ban against this very uncivil and intimidating behavior. It’s just not appropriate.”
If House Bill 2024 becomes law, it would make aggressive panhandling a petty offense which typically involves a citation being issued. Kavanagh said repeat offenders could potentially face jail time.
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains